By Carlo Pierri (Philippines)
Chan-wook Park’s Psychological Thriller
Cha-wook Park’s thriller film, Stoker, received critically acclaimed praise from his flawless direction and screenwriter Wentworth Miller for such well written screenplay together with impeccable performances by Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode.
The films portrayal of a dysfunctional family on the verge of dismay is well executed by Park who is a master of the thriller genre. With the likes of previous films tackled by Park, his transition from his acclaimed Vengeance trilogy (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) to his English directorial debut shows his continued masterful work that film is a universal language whether it be English or not.
The plot of the film occurs during the untimely death of Indian Stoker’s father, Dermot Mulroney, and the mysterious appearance of Charlie Stoker, India’s uncle, in which the story’s burning question begs “Why has he appeared to the family in such an untimely death of Richard Stoker?”
India Stoker represents the coming-of-age character both naive and curious as she develops an infatuation towards her uncle. Mia Wasikowska rising up to the ranks as a prominent actress delivers a brilliant performance that is both delirious and beautiful at the same time.
Nicole Kidman plays Evelyn, she portrays a different perspective on a tumultuous widow on the verge of an emotional breakdown while Matthew Goode plays the deviously charming wolf–in-sheep’s-clothing Uncle Charlie, acting as the magnet that sexually attracts both India and Evelyn displaying a more likely than not incestuous love triangle brewing in the midst.
Two technical aspects superbly done is the editing and cinematography as the vivid images juxtapose the psychological state of minds particularly India’s train of thought blends well through the cuts increasing narrative tensions. The film truly deserves a wide recognition that cannot go unnoticed in today’s film industry.